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Benefits of Resistance Bands: Discover Easy, Effective Workouts

legs of people using resistance bands
Resistance band workouts are safe, scalable and can be done solo.

by Mary Lambkin

Ever wonder what those colorful, elastic bands in the corner of your gym are? Resistance bands are one of the fitness industry's greatest assets: They're versatile, light, portable, and adaptable to all skill levels. Most often used for strength training exercises, they may also be used for physical therapy.

Whether you're a new gym-goer or consider yourself an experienced "gym rat," a resistance band workout will challenge your full-body strength. Read on to learn more about the benefits of resistance bands and try some of the sample exercises listed below.

Low-Impact, Injury-Free Fitness

Resistance bands work by creating tension between your body and the band. Most resistance band exercises are low-impact, making them a great alternative to high-intensity body weight movements. If you're new to working out or trying to overcome an injury, resistance bands are perfect because they don't add additional stress to your body.

Make sure to gently release the band after each exercise (so that it doesn't snap) and enjoy a safe, effective workout. Doing movements like leg abductions with the resistance band can strengthen your hips and glutes — two areas that are often weak spots for cardio enthusiasts and office-chair sitters. The kneeling chest fly is another great exercise if you're looking to target your chest and shoulders without impacting the joints.

Quick and Easy to Use

If you're short on time, a resistance band workout will deliver plenty of "bang for your buck" at the gym. You won't have to wander around searching for the right weight, waiting for a machine, or looking for equipment. All you need are a couple of bands, a sturdy wall for support, and about 10 feet of space. Try this 15-minute resistance band workout to test your strength while saving you time!

Scalable for All Strength Levels

Everyone — from Olympic weightlifters to exercise rookies — can reap the benefits of resistance bands. Simply select a band suited to your skill level to get started. The thicker and/or shorter the resistance band, the more challenging the exercise. For example, exercises like resistance band shoulder presses become increasingly difficult depending on the size and length of your resistance band.

Safe and Effective

Although partner resistance band workouts are fun, you can fit in a solid solo workout with this simple piece of equipment. One person can work almost every muscle in their body with a resistance band — no need for a spotter! Since resistance bands are one of the safest exercise accessories out there, they require less supervision than machines or free weights. In fact, this 10-move resistance band workout can be completed anytime, anywhere.

Full-Body Benefits

Resistance bands are incredibly simple but extremely effective. Movements like lateral walking and donkey kicks will challenge your core and legs, whereas exercises like the chest press will work your upper body.

By testing your strength, stability, and endurance, resistance bands can help improve your overall well-being and reduce your risk of injury. Before youhead to the gym, try selecting five upper-body, five lower-body, and two core exercises to focus on. Attempt to repeat each one at least three times and see how you feel the next day!

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.